The Feldenkrais Method is a modality used to improve body awareness that has proven to be highly effective in alleviating pain, anxiety, and movement difficulties. The Method involves the use of movement, touch and imagery as tools for learning new ways of functioning. The heightened awareness that develops through the use of this method leads to improved body image, organization and function.

Musicians benefit from this enhanced awareness with an increase in artistic vocabulary, in the ability to more efficiently express artistic intention, in the prevention of pain and injury, and in expedient healing from current injury. Unlike the medical model, which prescribes ways to achieve the correct state, the Feldenkrais Method leads the participant to discover his or her own solution. It is based on theoretical knowledge about the nervous system and its capacity to learn. The learning environment is gentle, safe, and creates a process of self-discovery.

Your Body is Your Strad is  a summer program that includes both Feldenkrais for All Performers (May 30 – June 3) and the National Summer Cello Institute (May 30 – June 12). It  is run by Feldenkrais practitioners and musicians Uri and Hagit Vardi who offer workshops around the world to help performers (cellists, other performing musicians, actors and dancers) become aware of the intimate relationship between the way that they use their body and the art that they create. This is a rare opportunity for cellists and all performing artists to discover greater artistic expression and physical wellness through enhanced body awareness under the guidance of renowned Feldenkrais practitioners, cello faculty, and specialists in the medical and performing arts fields. 2015 National Summer Cello Institute faculty includes Uri Vardi of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Timothy Eddy of the Juilliard and Mannes School, Paul Katz of New England Conservatory, and Feldenkrais Practitioner Hagit Vardi of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program. For more information on summer and year-round programs, please go to: The deadline to apply for the 2015 Your Body is Your Strad summer programs is now—March 31!

Uri Vardi is a professor of Cello at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.